News24

Leave no stone unturned - Martins

2012-06-26 12:39

Johannesburg - Authorities should investigate all possible reasons for a bus plummeting off a bridge and killing 19 people in the Vaal Triangle, Transport Minister Ben Martins said on Tuesday.

"No effort should be spared in determining the cause of this horrific incident," Martins said after visiting the accident scene on Monday afternoon.

"Road traffic management authorities must leave no stone unturned in their probe.

"There are no words to describe the shock with which we received the sad and unfortunate reports of this tragic end to lives."

On Monday morning, the bus driver lost control of the vehicle which hit the rails of a bridge, then plummeted 10m to the ground, landing on its side.

Blame

Beeld newspaper reported that the survivors blame the driver for the crash.

Elizabeth Xaba, 45, who is being treated in the Sebokeng Hospital, told the newspaper the driver did not slow down when he took the turn-off to the bridge.

"He was driving way too fast and he lost control. I only realised later that we had landed in the stormwater ditch. I could hear many people's voices... some of them were screaming in pain."

Passenger Ishmael Thomas, 35, who sustained at least eight broken ribs and a damaged lung, said he felt as if he was dying.

Speeding

"The driver was speeding. Since the accident, I feel like I can't breathe."

Martha Nhlapo, 36, who was waiting for medical treatment in the Sebokeng Hospital casualty ward, said she remembered the driver hurtling along just before the crash.

"There was nothing in front of him that he might have had to avoid crashing into. No taxi or dog... he just drove too fast."

Fifty-five people were injured in the crash - three of them critically. The bus driver was among those killed.

"We call on the bus operating company to work with authorities in order to expedite the investigation into the cause of this crash," Martins said.

"Motorists must exercise great caution at all times. They should remember that adherence to the rules of the road is non-negotiable. It is only if we all obey the rules of the road without exception that we can meet our objectives of reducing the road fatality rate."

Martins conveyed his condolences to the families of the passengers who were killed, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

Comments
  • procold2 - 2012-06-26 13:11

    driver is dead mr martins when the report comes back blaming him, what will be the next step? when is gov and yourself going to put proper legislation and regulations in place and proper policing of these to stop the taxi industry and the bus operators doing what they like and employing cheap drivers that dont really know how to drive with a bus full of inoccent passangers tring to get to work,

  • Mike Peach Purchase - 2012-06-26 14:26

    Deep down inside we all know why these prangs happen!

  • Mhlonso - 2012-06-26 14:30

    Putco is a nightmare. their buses are always broken all over Gauteng. N1 between 14th Avenue and Maraisburg there is always a bus stuck.

  • nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-26 14:48

    "no stone unturned..." We've heard all the rhetoric before - nothing changes.

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